Conventional Medicine or Holistic Wellness or Both?Luke Coutinho
When the fights and war between conventional medicine and wellness ends, there is a chance and hope of real healing happening in an integrated way. Be it pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, conventional or alternative medicine, when the intention is wrong, there can be no progress but when the intention is right and the vision is to only heal the patient then there will be a massive shift.
Wellness is not a replacement and has never been pushed as a replacement for conventional medicine. We need doctors, medicine, hospitals and super specialists. They save lives and prevent death. But we also need nutritionists, dieticians, health coaches, emotional coaches, exercise specialists and alternative medicine practitioners.
True wellness allows for compassion and time for patients, but sadly the current medical system is far from that. Very few doctors practice compassion, give time and hope to patients. – which are some of the crucial aspects of healing.
Why will nutrition, movement, importance of sleep and emotional health be important to a doctor when their curriculum is funded, controlled and designed by the pharmaceutical companies? So what they don’t learn suddenly fits ‘outside ‘ of science.
Some of the most “effective” doctors in the world (“effective” because the best doesn’t matter unless its effective and gets results) encourage their patients to see nutritionists, to sleep better and to stay active. They also warn and caution their patients about the proven connection of chronic stress with disease and healing. They educate patients about the possible side effects of most medicines and ways to handle that. Imagine if every health care professional does that.
The concept of a family physicians has slowly become obsolete and taken over by super specialists. There is nothing wrong with that except the fact that the family physicians used to know in and out about your case history, they invested time in diagnosis, they asked you about your food, your life, they spoke about stress and they medicated assurance which was accompanied by hope. Only if the situation required, they would then direct you to a super specialist.
Wellness takes into account that every patient is different and has different dietary needs. Emotions too are taken into account as emotion affects every cell of the body in the right way or wrong way. It looks at the person holistically, rather “holistically”, addresses the root cause and works towards healing that. It looks at “healing” rather than “treating”. There is a huge difference between the two. It understands that everything is connected in the human body and thus doesn’t just treat the disease, but everything that’s connected with it. For e.g.: Diabetes is much beyond high and low sugar levels. Its about looking at the health of pancreas, addressing inflammation, acidity, lifestyle factors that cause it and ways to manage it.
True and holistic wellness doesn’t make false claims (unless they have an intention of making profits or selling) that one oil, spice, food or a breathing technique will cure a disease or take away cancer. Instead it speaks about how a particular habit or remedy can support healing provided all of the lifestyle factors works in tandem with each other. It speaks of promising support to the body and mind as a WHOLE. It aims to create a healthy and happy environment around the patient on the outside as well as inside the body. It considers the wellness of deep inside the heart and mind as well.
Having said that, conventional medicine is needed. It has saved millions of lives. Wellness of integrative and holistic lifestyle aims to combine the best of both practices with a focus on the best interests of the patient and not a behaviour that involves ego and misplaced pride revolving around who’s right and who’s wrong or who’s qualifications is better or worse.
A hundred doctors may pass out of Harvard medical or Yale university, but not all hundred will be the best, in spite of having the same degree and qualifications. The difference in their success with patients will be highly dependent on their passion, their desire to heal and give back life and health, their ability to keep an open mind and be open to the fact that every patient is unique and may need a different approach. It will also depend on the environment of compassion and hope they can create around the patient, because where there is hope, there is healing.
Yes, the natural supplement market is highly questionable in terms of efficacy, absorption, the claims that labels make etc, yet wellness will use it to fill gaps in a patient. Every vitamin and mineral should be given to the body through wholesome natural food, in a way that nature had intended it to be. Unfortunately we live in a world where most food, right from vegetables, meat, dairy is GMO, pumped with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or depleted in nutrients simply because of a nutrient depleted soil. Hence there is a possibility that you are given some vitamins and minerals through high grade, science backed supplements, because your body needs it at that point.
It’s when people lose hope in conventional medicine they naturally turn to a different alternative treatment path. We should not wait for this to happen. The moment illness begins, patients should be encouraged to take medicines (only if necessary), while they simultaneously begin to focus on lifestyle changes that involve their nutrition, movement, sleep and emotional health.
No one ever said that yoga takes away cancer or disease. Yoga is a way of live and when you live that life, everything ranging from your food, movement, sleep, emotional and spiritual health gets better, thus putting you in a better position to possibly prevent or heal.
Imagine, just imagine the possibility if massive funding went into a new research project that studies how patient will do on an integrative model and how their health can get better or if the healing is complete and quicker. Will the suffering decrease? Will the cost of health care/sick care go down? I long for that day when wellness becomes an integrated model because the best of all forms of healing (conventional as well as alternative) is what the worlds needs now. Imagine when medicine begins to allow for the possibility that emotions like anger, guilt, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment – affect the health of trillions of cells in us. We all know allopathic doctors across the globe who have also written books about this, but NO ONE IS LISTENING.
When hundreds and thousands of people across the world swear that simple changes in their mindset, nutrition, movement, emotional health, beliefs etc have healed them, then why isn’t any research company listening? Most of these people found a way to heal beyond just conventional medicine. So what’s wrong in that?
It’s not about which system of healing is better or worse. Its about what finally works for the patient
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